29 May 2012, Gail’s trip log

There was an old movie called something like If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Sweden – we are beginning to feel a bit like that – yesterday we were in Morocco, today was Spain, and tomorrow Portugal! We had a very interesting day. Our bus left Cadiz, our port, at 900 for the two hour ride to Seville. The ride took us through scenery that looked a lot like the Central Valley of California – olive trees, oranges, grape vineyards, sunny and dry climate and fairly flat country. Driving into Seville we saw some beautiful Spanish mansions and lots of trees. Weather today was perfect – sunny and clear and in the high 70s – although it may have hit the mid 80s around 330 when we were waiting for our bus back to Cadiz. We had opted to do our own independent tour of Seville which worked out fine a little confusion at the beginning and end – it was our guide’s first day on the job and she didn’t even know where the Tourist Office was so we could get maps – so the whole group of 38 wandered around with her until she found it – then she told the group the wrong time to meet, a half hour later than she meant to. Some of the group had taken off before she realized her error and chased us down to correct it, so in the end we had to wait for those people anyway. At the end when all were reassembled we walked five blocks back to the bus. But the five hours in between were great. Central old town Seville was fabulous. The roads are all cobblestone and there were horse drawn carriages you could hire (we didn’t) – but Dan took my picture with one of them – and also took my picture with a cute mounted policeman. We wandered around and then spent well over an hour in the Cathedral – the largest in the world! There was a huge group of soldiers with drums and bugles and weapons that marched through and did changing of the guard at one of the altars at noon. Very impressive – we wondered if they do that every day. There was so much to see in the cathedral – including Christopher Columbus’s tomb, although there is now some doubt if his remains are really there. Anyway, after the cathedral we found a small café and had some fantastic fettuccini carbonara – with fresh home made noodles and a chocolate croissant and espresso. Then we went to tour the Alcazar – fabulous old fortress and palace and still the home of Spain’s royalty. Then we wandered around and bought a lot of postcards. Final stop was a Starbucks for a latte and a bathroom. There are no public loos, so you have to be creative – our friend Megan said to just go in any bar and ask. We chose Starbucks instead. Think most everyone slept on the bus ride back. We sailed away around 700 and I think we will sleep well tonight!

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